In October 2015 Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno spent two weeks in Slovakia working on judicial ethics reform, conducting workshops, meeting with lawyers, and law schools. During this trip Professor Moliterno was interviewed by a Slovak journalist, Zuzana Petková, regarding controversial aspects of the Slovak judiciary and higher education system. In the article that was published last week, the headline reads: “Slovakia is Wasting Some of Its Best and Brightest.”
One of the several themes in the article is Professor Moliterno’s assertion that too many excellent judicial and academic candidates are denied permanent positions in favor of those with family connections to current judges and professors. In his opinion, which is based on his three years of work in Slovakia on legal ethics, the country is losing its best people who could make important contributions to the life of the country and its prosperity in favor of a system that relies on nepotism and favor-trading in the selection process for judicial and academic positions.
On November 3 and 4, 2015 Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno worked in Czech Republic on a project organized by a Czech NGO, Pro Bono Alliance, and financed by The US Embassy-Prague and the Prague international law firm, Kinstellar. The work was designed to increase the possibilities of required lawyer ethics courses at Czech Republic’s main law schools, Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno and Palacky University in Olomouc. Professor Moliterno met with interested faculty and deans and conducted a demonstration lawyer ethics class for a group of each school’s students with interested faculty and deans observing. He has already been invited back by two of the schools to teach a short ethics course.
In addition to the law school events, Professor Moliterno conducted a session with business lawyers in Prague at the Kinstellar offices. The group of about 25 lawyers engaged thoroughly in his interactive ethics teaching and several proposed that he do such a session for their own firms’ lawyers in house.
Finally, Professor Moliterno was the guest of honor at a reception hosted by the US Ambassador at the Ambassador’s Residence in Prague. The guests were leading lawyers, leading professors and deans, and Constitutional Court judges.
Professor Jim Moliterno recently returned from a very intense, two-week trip to Slovakia. Sponsored by the US Embassy-Bratislava, he has been working there for the past three years on judicial and prosecutor ethics reform. On this trip, he conducted three, one-day workshops for judges in Pezinok, Banska Bystrica and Kosice, travelling across the country from west to east. He explored with the judges fundamental concepts such as impartiality and independence, and also focused attention on a significant problem in the Slovak judiciary: media statements by judges regarding controversial cases.
In addition to the workshops, Professor Moliterno met with a team from the Prosecutor General’s Office (equivalent to the US Attorney General’s Office) to continue work on a draft code of conduct for prosecutors. When adopted, it will be the first of its kind in Slovakia. He also made presentations at two of the country’s law schools, one in Bratislava and the other in Kosice. Finally, he was able to participate in the fruits of his earlier work in Slovakia: he did a guest lecture for the first-ever lawyer ethics course offered at Comenius Law Faculty in Bratislava. One of his colleagues at the Embassy and one of his former students from a videoconference lawyer ethics course he conducted last year are the co-teachers of the new course. The hope is that many more of the law schools add lawyer ethics courses to their curricula.
Washington and Lee law professor James Moliterno is currently featured by the California Bar Journal. The piece follows a presentation to California’s State Board of Trustees. Professor Moliterno spoke about how the profession has failed to evolve or respond to change such as advances in technology and a globalized economy.
Read the full article from the California Bar Journal: Law professor: Attorneys must evolve with changing times by Laura Ernde
Find more work from Professor Moliterno about the legal profession here.
On March 6 and 7, 2014, Washington and Lee law professor James Moliterno will be engaged in meetings and presentations in Slovakia on the state of Slovak higher education. Professor Moliterno will participate in sessions with representatives of the prosecution service regarding a prosecutor’s code of ethics, with law faculty at Comenius University on academic ethics, and a with a group of reform-minded judges who have been trying to improve the state of the Slovak judiciary.
Also during the week of March 7, 2014, Professor Moliterno will be at the Instituto Empresa Law Faculty in Madrid to conduct a workshop on experiential education for the faculty and present a lecture to IE’s LLM students on the impact of Alternative Business Systems on global legal markets.
Read more about Professor Moliterno’s scholarship here.
Washington & lee law professor James Moliterno will present at the thirteenth annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics at St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio, TX on February 28, 2014. The symposium will feature discussion of practical issues that attorneys and judges face daily, as well as forward looking trends in the legal malpractice and ethics fields.
Professor Moliterno will present “Why Lawyers Do What They Do” reporting the findings of a survey conducted of Virginia lawyers. The survey asked lawyers about their motivations for doing things required by the ethics rules. Among the possible motivations were fear of bar discipline, fear of malpractice, to gain more clients and keep current clients happy, and to do the right thing without regard to the consequences.
Read more about Professor Moliterno’s work here.
W&L Law Professor Jim Moliterno recently participated in a workshop sponsored by U.S. AID’s East-West Management Institute to provide legal ethics training to lawyers in the Republic of Georgia. Prof. Moliterno is the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has a leadership role in W&L’s third year curriculum reform.
Prof. Moliterno has engaged in substantial international legal ethics and legal education reform work, designing new lawyer and judge ethics courses in Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. He has trained law professors in China, Thailand, Georgia, Armenia and Serbia. He has trained judges in Kosove and both judges and prosecutors in Indonesia. He has worked to revise the lawyer ethics code in Thailand and Georgia and lectured extensively on international lawyer ethics topics in Spain, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. He has prepared course materials that are in use in Serbia, Armenia, Thailand, Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, and China.
Here are the announcements regarding the recent Georgian program:
|EWMI-JILEP and Georgian Bar Create Advanced Ethics Training Module
On February 7-8, 2014, EWMI-JILEP sponsored a workshop where members of the Georgian Bar Association (GBA)’s Training Center and selected lawyer-instructors, developed the next generation of lawyers’ ethics training. While previous courses developed with EWMI-JILEP assistance relied heavily upon hypotheticals created by JILEP ethics expert, Professor James Moliterno, the new training module is based on hypotheticals developed by Georgian lawyers and taken from Georgian legal practice.
Ethical dilemmas covered in the course include problems concerning lawyer-client privilege, conflict of interest, and lawyer advertising. To give an example, one hypothetical to be used in the course asks if the following advertisement is ethical:
The most experienced lawyers in criminal law will provide you with highly qualified services in the shortest time possible and resolve your case successfully. Contact us via telephone : xxx-xx-xx-xx. One phone call and we will be ready to give you our helping hand, and restore your violated right and give you peace.”
Professor Moliterno was present at the workshop and provided his suggestions for how the new course could be refined to ensure maximum impact upon lawyer participants. The course, mandatory for all bar members, will begin mid-February 2014.